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Department of State

New Jersey Historical Commission

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Secretary of State

“What to the Slave is the 4th of July?” As Read by Margie “Mia X” Johnson

Please join us for a special reading of Frederick Douglass' famous 1852 speech "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" by New Jersey spoken word artist, community activist, and teaching artist Margie ‘Mia x’ Johnson. Her performance gives us the opportunity to think not only of American independence and Black history, but of all the communities in New Jersey and around the world. As the NJHC continues to work with New Jersey artists, thinkers, writers, and community members courageously engaging their neighbors in conversation and action, we invite you to participate too.

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2022 New Jersey History Conference

The New Jersey Historical Commission (NJHC) is having its annual 2022 New Jersey History Conference virtually on Friday, November 4th, 2022, from 9:00am -5:30pm

The NJHC's Freedom Seeker, Colonizer, and Enslaved: Immigration and Migration in New Jersey conference will address the history of different forms of movement within, to, or from the state. We will ask how interpretations of stories can help illuminate our understanding of the present. The conference will explore the history, cultural heritage, and contemporary issues facing immigrant communities through the lens of New Jersey studies.

We are honored to welcome for the keynote, Dr. Mae Ngai, The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America (2010); and The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and Global Politics (2021)

For more information, please visit and *register for the NJHC Fall 2022 Virtual Conference

The registration fee for students will be waived. Please follow the directions on the registration form.


  • In Memoriam: Maureen Ogden

    The members and staff of the New Jersey Historical Commission are deeply saddened at the passing of Maureen Ogden. Please read this memorial post to learn more.

  • Inclusive History Grant Program

    The New Jersey Historical Commission (NJHC) is pleased to introduce a new grant program focused on supporting research and interpretative planning at public history and cultural sites in New Jersey. The form to submit a Declaration of Intent (DOI) will go live on July 18. 2022.

  • In Memoriam: Richard Waldron

    The members and staff of the New Jersey Historical Commission are deeply saddened at the passing of Richard Waldron. Please read this memorial post to learn more.

  • COVID-19 Impact Survey IV

    Please take our fourth COVID-19 Impact Survey! The survey seeks to gather data about the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on NJ’s history field as we collectively transition into a world of working with the virus. Your participation will help inform future avenues for support and development. Survey takers will receive a 15% discount on registration for the 2022 New Jersey History Conference (offer available for individual tickets only).

  • New Jersey Social Studies Survey Results

    The NJHC is thrilled to release the results of a survey on New Jersey social studies education in K-12 schools. View the results and learn more by visiting

  • What is Labor Day to Me? Reflections on My Trip to the American Labor Museum

    Join NJHC Program Coordinator Mar Lorenc for a reflection on Labor Day 2021 inspired by a recent visit to the America Labor Museum in Haledon, NJ.

  • COVID-19 Resources for Museums and Cultural Organizations

    We have compiled a list of resources for museums and cultural organizations grappling with the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak to be updated periodically.

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